Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Moving Forward

Spiritual work takes physical energy.  And though the mountain top experiences are invigorating, the climb to that point is strenuous.  But the view from the top is so worth it.

Yet, life is lived in the valleys and the trek down is fraught with dangers of depression and temptation.  I experienced both this week as I sought to unpack and put away a retreat weekend.

I'm reminded of Elijah who experienced God's great victory on Mt. Carmel.  Afterwards he ran a supernatural sprint to keep ahead of the drenching rain, this rain no one had seen for three years.  But right after that experience, Elijah was depressed and exhausted.  God's remedy was very basic; sleep and nourishment.  (1 Kings 18-19)

I did a lot of sleeping this week.  Then for the first time in forever had a weekend where we did not have to prepare a lesson, an activity, or an event.  I almost forgot what leisure was like.

Saturday, my daughter got sick and so we both lazed around the house, going no where in particular.  It is strange that life can be placed on hold when it has to, the urgent made obsolete. 

I am tempted to linger at the peaks.  So often we seek experiences with God and expect He will do for us what He did for someone else, or what He did before.  But we cannot fit God into formulas or even our own experiences.  He continually calls us forward.

I'm reminded of another retreat, just last fall, where God brought me to a mountain peak.  The experience was not the same as last weekend, but it is still the same God.  That is the joy of walking with Him, life is never stagnant.  And as long as I am seeking the Lord, He will lead me up peaks and through valleys.  I know He is with me through both.

Every morning I seek the Lord in His Word, and there He calls me to come away with Him to the high places.  I love these alpine meadows of communion with Him, but the day calls and I must enter the valleys of laundry, dirty dishes, errands, cooking meals, sick children, and appointments.  But somehow these things do not loom so big because my heart has been refreshed in the Lord.

And the added bonus?  The Colorado sun has made its entrance into our valley, oh so soothing to the soul.  Winter's snow has been trumped by hints of spring, a reminder of God's faithfulness.  Winter never lasts forever.  All this squishy mud reminds me that spring's a comin'!  

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